Colossians 2:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 2:11, NIV: In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Colossians 2:11, ESV: In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

Colossians 2:11, KJV: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Colossians 2:11, NASB: and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,

Colossians 2:11, NLT: When you came to Christ, you were 'circumcised,' but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision--the cutting away of your sinful nature.

Colossians 2:11, CSB: You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ,

What does Colossians 2:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Circumcision was of great importance to Jews, serving as a covenantal sign since the time of Abraham (Genesis 17). Moses faced a serious problem over not circumcising his own sons (Exodus 4:24–26). Jewish male infants were circumcised on the eighth day according to the Mosaic law, and Jesus mentioned circumcision being performed on the Sabbath so as to keep the law (John 7:22). Because circumcision was so important, that term is often used as a short-hand for the entire Law.

However, once Jesus came according to prophecy, He became the fulfillment of the law. Paul wrote, "For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God" (1 Corinthians 7:19). Circumcision remained a controversy for the very early church, though the apostles clearly taught that such rituals were not necessary for Christians (Acts 11:1–18). Here, Paul notes that what circumcision does, physically, faith in Christ does, spiritually. In other words, what matters is knowing Christ, not physical circumcision.